Why blogs can’t be under-valued

Sorry to disappoint, but I charge the same for the time I spend writing a blog as I do for anything else. For the first time this year, I’ve come up against what’s become quite a regular sticky wicket.

While most are more than happy to pay a reasonable rate for the writing of everything from an advert or a press release to a brochure or a website, many are often less happy paying the same for a corporate blog.

When fees of ‘£40 for a 400 word blog’ are proposed, it doesn’t take a lot of mental arithmetic to work out that the average hourly rate I’d be writing for is a deal less than the UK’s minimum wage. Off the list of services it goes?

Yes it’s perfectly true to say that there are many content mills and dedicated bloggers around the world who’ll do it for that and a lot less too. I can’t though vouch for the quality or let alone explain how the economics can possibly stack up.

This apparent under-valuing of corporate blog writing seems though all the more bizarre to me when I take a big step back and reflect on the medium’s quite unique set of characteristics:

Creativity

Not bound by a strict editorial calendar, page layout or space restrictions, the blog topic can be anything you want it to be, as long as it’s ‘on message’ and matters to you and your target audience. While 500-1000 words are recommended for ‘readability’, there’s really no hard and fast rule.

Style

And the injection of personality, humour, even a degree of irreverence is acceptable too. That said, a blog’s ability to handle serious topics in depth means their role in ‘educating’ and ‘credibility raising’ can’t be ignored either.

Plus, is there really a better medium for gently escaping from the regular corporate marketing spiel, while still getting away with a subtle amount of corporate spin? 😉

Frequency

No waiting around for a slot in an editorial calendar, the next newsletter etc, you set the publishing agenda. Regularity is important yes, but how many blogs are posted, in what timeframe, the best days for posting etc. are really not subject to rigorous science. You decide. You control.

Reach

Choose the right topic for it, SEO it, promote it though the right direct marketing and social media channels and a blog’s reach and impact can be massive.

I admit to doing next to zero promotion for my meagre and irregular ‘Articles’ page and yet the number of off-line conversations that ensue as a result tell me it finds a good audience.

Engagement

Irrespective of whether you invite public comment or not, a proactive blog expressing a strong opinion on a relevant and current topic, can prompt strong dialog and engage a reader in a productive conversation. One-to-many two-way communication.

Cost

Writing and posting a blog has for most never been the biggest line on the marcom budget sheet. Hence the probable reason going full circle, why, when internal resources are limited, I’m asked to write corporate blogs for very little money…

Commitment

So the bigger challenge then is actually finding those in-house resources, those within an organisation who are really willing, have the time and are able to write regular blog posts. Creating a quality blog does take time. It should take time. It does take commitment and writing a regular blog certainly isn’t for everyone.

All in all, a blog’s a pretty valuable tool to keep in the marcom arsenal. Worth the investment if you ask me! Rant over.